Katherine was a one-of-a-kind and she helped change the world in which we live.
West Virginia has generated a great number of "Hidden Figures" -
Israel Charles White, Harlan James Smith, James Rumsey, Michael Owens, George Curme, John Nash, Don Levinson and in recent years, Don Mercer and Gerald Crabtree to name a few... and there are hundreds more...
Native West Virginians we should celebrate regularly!
Brandon Coates, Brian Gordon and Brian Joseph visited NASA Langley October 20th to present the final report on Touchstone’s Phase II SBIR project related to enhancing aluminum aircraft and rocket structures and to initiate Phase II-E and Phase III activities with the Advanced Air Transport Technology program.
While there the Touchstone team was at NASA they were able to see two F-22 Raptors going through their paces. What an amazing aircraft!
Late in the day, the Touchstone team visited the facility where the solar sail is being produced. Touchstone Advanced Composites produced the molds which are being used to produce the booms for the solar sail.
The week of October 21, the Society for Advanced Materials and Process Engineering (SAMPE) hosted a composite tooling workshop. Composite tools are the molds to manufacture composite parts. The workshop taught aerospace companies the state-of-the-art methods to craft these tools.
CFOAM carbon foam is a unique material from which to build very precise tools (molds) for carbon fiber aircraft and rocket parts. It expands and contracts with changes in temperature the same amount as the carbon fiber parts that are being made on the tools – and few materials match carbon fiber parts this way.
Brian Joseph, Touchstone’s President, walked through the details of building composite tools and along with Lou Dorworth of Abaris demonstrated the production of parts on a self-heated composite tool made by Touchstone Advanced Composites from CFOAM carbon foam. CFOAM is electrically conductive and the tool works by passing low voltage directly through the foam the tool is made from. These tools heat and cool quickly and are very uniform in temperature.
Many thanks to Lou and the team from Abaris. They do a great job training the composite technicians and engineers of the future and many thanks to SAMPE for the invitation.
CAMX, the largest composites conference in the US was held in Anaheim, California September 24th through the 27th. Chris Cox and JW Freeland from Touchstone Advanced Composites and Brian Gordon from Touchstone’s research group attended along with Brian Joseph, Touchstone’s President.
On September 26th, Brian J. made a presentation about the building of the tooling (the molds) for a new NASA Solar Sail made from carbon fiber composite materials.
While rocket fuel has provided the energy for most space travel so far, solar energy may provide the boost for spaceships in the future. Just like cloth sails harness the wind for sail boats, giant reflective sheets called solar sails can harness photos from the sun to provide propulsion.
Each light particle has momentum, and when it strikes a reflective surface, it imparts that momentum to the reflective sheet, just like a collision of two billiard balls.
As billions of light particles hit the sheet, they push the sail strongly enough to move a spacecraft. Over time, the solar particles keep pushing a solar sail faster and faster, allowing it to achieve speeds over 200,000 miles per hour – with no rocket fuel.
Touchstone Advanced Composites has unique technologies which allow CFOAM’s carbon foam to be crafted into extremely precise molds to form the structural components of the solar sail.
Many thanks to Dr. Juan Fernandez and the team at NASA Langley for allowing Touchstone the opportunity to work on this amazing technology.
West Liberty University’s Community University
September 18th, Touchstone hosted a visit from West Liberty University’s Community University
The Community University at West Liberty offers stimulating learning opportunities to people age 55 and older. The Community University is an organization with volunteer presenters that engages older adults as learners. Community University programs are shaped by presenters’ and learners’ interests and include study topics from the arts and literature, sciences and technology, history, religion, business and commerce, current events.
"The group was quite engaging with lots of questions," explained Brian Gordon, Touchstone’s Director of Research.